An 81-year-old woman has died after she was extricated from her car and flown to the hospital following a head-on crash on Route 59 in Antioch Tuesday, authorities said.
An autopsy performed on Gayle Thielke, 81, of Antioch, showed she died from blunt force injuries as a result of a vehicle crash, according to Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek.
The Antioch Police Department, Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Antioch Fire Department responded around 3:40 p.m. Tuesday to Route 59 and Bowles Road for a vehicle crash with injuries.
A preliminary investigation determined that a white Kia was traveling southbound on Route 59, according to Village of Antioch Communication Manager Jim Moran.
The Kia crossed the center line of traffic and struck a northbound Ford F-250 pickup truck head-on, Moran said.
Thielke, who was the driver of the Kia, was trapped inside her vehicle.
The Antioch Fire Department worked for at least 30 minutes to free the woman from the wreckage.
A Mercyhealth REACT helicopter landed nearby at a church at Route 59 and Grass Lake Road.
The helicopter flew Thielke to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with serious injuries.
She died just after 10 p.m. Tuesday from her injuries, the coroner’s office said.
The driver of the Ford, a 58-year-old Lake Villa resident, suffered minor injuries and refused transport to the hospital, Moran said.
The Antioch Police Department requested assistance from the Lake County Major Crash Assistance Team (MCAT) due to the seriousness of the crash.
Route 59 between Bowles Road and Heron Drive was shut down for approximately four hours.
Lake County Chief Deputy Coroner Steve Newton said there was evidence of medical complications found during Thielke’s autopsy that may have contributed to the crash.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Antioch Police Department and MCAT.